As I’m gearing up to pack up the house this week…yes it’s that time…moving to Idaho next week, I’m taking the time to blog this week before things get CRAZY.  I mean if I could blog while driving for 23 hours I totally would.  But….yeah… I’m going to pass on that. So anyways, this post is particularly special to me because we headed back to my homeland of Wisconsin Rapids, WI.  We set up this amazing Conceptual Cranberry Shoot at Glacial Lake Cranberries​.  Talk about the perfect setting.  Having grown up surrounded by the land of cranberries it was close to my heart to have this opportunity to make this happen.

Thank you to so many great vendors that made this shoot happen.  Even though the mosquitos where in top form we all worked together to shoot fast, set up smart and work efficiently. It truly was amazing! Great team!

And to top is off, this shoot was in Wisconsin Bride Magazine this past month. Check your local Wisconsin book store for a copy!

Wedding Planner: Belle Noelle Events + Design​
Venue: Glacial Lake Cranberries​
Florals: A Day in Provence​
Calligraphy: Hooked Calligraphy​
Dress and Veil: a&bé bridal shop
Grooms Attire: Moods of Norway​
Bow tie: Original Peguin
Headpiece: Lo Boheme – Vintage Inspired Hairwear and Accessories​
Accessories: Che Bella​
Hair: Viva Voce Salon​
Makeup: BB Makeup Hastings
Cake: Ganach Truffles
Vintage Rentals: On Solid Ground Vintage Rentals​
Linens & Place Settings: Après Party and Tent Rental
Models: Carly & Tim Milbrath

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Let’s just say that I’m looking forward to the day when I can say I own a ila handbag. I want that large tote in my hands!!!!! This collection is so perfect for a wedding, bachelorette party…and there is even a bag for travel or the beach.  I just love it!  Not only did I get the opportunity to ooh and ahh over these gorgeous bags, I was able to hear more about the story of ila handbags, and how designer Paula Bjerketvedt created her brand!  I would love to share that with you.  Do yourself a favor and check our all of her amazing pieces.ila handbags
Tell me a little bit about your business and how you started your journey towards creating ila handbags?

“I’ve always had a passion for design, specifically textile design.  I knew I wanted to pursue a career in a creative field and have always been drawn to fashion, textiles & history. I graduated with a clothing design degree from the University of Minnesota. I landed a job out of college, I worked as a visual display coordinator at a larger clothing retailer and got a lot of good experience for 4 years. I then moved on to work for Anthropologie. I was the Visual & Merchandising Manger for the Minnesota stores for over 5 years.  It was wonderful & innovative retailer to work for. They truly embraced creativity and originality with in each store.
It was at Anthropologie that I became truly inspired and had dreams of branching out on my own. During this time at had gotten married and we had our first child; I was ready for something new. My husband ran a small design and branding studio in northeast Minneapolis. I started working with my husband at his studio as his project manager. After working together for over a year I started thinking a collaboration for my own business would be a good idea.
“The moment” came through an invitation to a friends wedding in Paris, France. Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend her wedding but knew I wanted to give her something special. In college I had always been drawn to bags and clutches as an accessory to my clothing designs, so sketching some clutch ideas for her wedding seemed natural. I pulled my sewing machine up from the basement and got to work. After a few rounds of modifications I showed my friend a clutch and she loved it. A few friends saw the clutches and wanted one of their own. It seemed like there might be a business there so I started making more and producing other styles, etc. ila is named after my eclectic, fashionable grandmother, Illavern Gregory (ila) and was started fall of 2010.
I currently run the shop out of our home studio. My recent collaboration with a designer friend from Chicago has been wonderful. I love collaborating with other creatives and hope to do more of that in the future.”

ila handbagsMinneapolis handbagsila handbagsWhat is your favorite thing about being in the fashion industry?
“I love the creative process. From designing a print, styling a
shoot, to picking images for the lookbook…love it all!”

What should we know about ila handbags?
“ila (pronounced Isla) is a Minneapolis, MN based boutique handbag and design studio featuring handcrafted, limited edition clutches and totes. All bags are handmade with only the highest quality silk, cotton, wool & leather fabrics. ila’s bags and clutches have been featured in publications such as Martha Stewart WeddingsThe KnotWHITE magazine,  Well Wed MagazineMinnesota Bride & MSP Weddings.”
ila handbagsila handbagsila handbags
If you could make a handbag for anyone famous, who would that be?
Sienne Miller, Jenna Lyons or Sofia Coppola!ila handbagsila handbagsila handbags

Today’s announcement is brought to you by the word “change.” Change is good. It allows creative juices to flow and businesses to expand.

image by Electric Lime Photo

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that this gal just got hitched! I took the leap and married my love. We had the most beautiful ceremony—just him and I in the woods. Earlier this month, we celebrated with our friends and family in Wisconsin. We couldn’t have asked for anything better!

Now that I’m married, you’re probably wondering if I’m moving? The answer is yes! Currently, I reside in Wisconsin and have been traveling back and forth to Minnesota for meetings and weddings. It’s been working out really well. With all the excitement of getting married and moving, we couldn’t help ourselves, so…we’re moving again! This time, though, we’re going a bit further. My husband will be attending graduate school at the University of Idaho this fall, so we’re moving to IDAHO!!!!! We will be there for the next two years. Please pray for us as we make the 23-hour trek. Don’t hesitate to come visit us, too!!!  We welcome visitors!

What’s going to happen with Whitney Furst Photography? You probably guessed right. Whitney Furst Photography will be changing to Whitney Anderson Photography. I’m very excited about this change. Very soon, I’ll be launching a new website, replete with a brand new logo.

What does this mean for my current clients? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If you booked with me, I will be at your wedding and at your engagement session. If you need anything, I’m only a phone call away, and I’m happy to help!

For couples considering booking me: I am still booking weddings in Minnesota (that will not change). I am also booking in Spokane, Washington and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I love to travel, and I still have lots of family and friends in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Rest assured, you will be taken care of per usual, regardless of where I lay my head to rest. Thanks to modern-day technology, we can meet via FaceTime, Skype, Google chat, or we can have a phone conversation.

There you have it. Change. I’m very grateful for the couples who have booked and are about to book.  Seriously, I am so lucky to have such terrific clients. As the slogan goes, “If you have fun doing what you love, you will never work a day in your life.” I love what I do.  We will most definitely miss our friends and family…so come visit us.  But truth be told, we will most likely be back to the mid-west after Alex is finished with school. In the mean time, we are looking forward to this new adventure in our lives and the opportunity to experience the west coast.

We will be moving my husband out to Idaho August 14th to start school.  I will be traveling back and forth for weddings and making the official move October 4th. Many photo updates to come!